Despite poverty and marginalisation, there was a spirit of defiance and pride amongst the Elliott mob. The slogan from the previous year’s anti-bicentennial – ‘we have survived’ – had continuing resonance. There was respect for the endurance and fortitude of the many former stockmen who lived in the town. Through their skill and discipline they had earned a limited degree of autonomy, despite working for white bosses, and they had managed to maintain culture and ceremony under difficult conditions.
"This is just bullshit; it’s all gone backwards. Everything goes to Tennant Creek (headquarters of Barkly Council). We want to get Elliott going again, but Tennant Creek just shoots us down in flames," Councillor Ray Aylett.